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DJI FPV vs Mavic 3 Pro (Here’s My Choice)

Hello and welcome to this comparison between two top-notch drones: DJI FPV and Mavic 3 Pro

Image: DJI

Here we have two unrivaled drones to compare – both from DJI but created for different types of drone pilots and purposes.

I love FPV drones and have always done so since I bought my DJI FPV drone soon after its initial release. But I also love the DJI Mavic 3 Pro, which is an unprecedented drone.

So, which one would I recommend?

The DJI Mavic 3 Pro should be the drone to look for if you have the budget, whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, hobbyist or commercial drone pilot, or simply looking for one of the best consumer drones out there. The DJI FPV should be considered if you want to get into flying FPV drones or if you’re looking for a specific type of video footage.

Let’s not jump to conclusions yet. There’s so much more to find out about these drones and why I recommend them. 

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Brief Overview

DJI FPV

The DJI FPV is the first FPV drone released by DJI. It came out in January 2021, and at the time of writing this article, it’s nearly 3 years old. 

But sometimes age doesn’t matter in FPV, and we’ll explain later why.

DJI is known to have created history in FPV with their design and release of digital transmission systems. DJI FPV is the first FPV drone released by DJI to have this VTX. And it’s fantastic!

The immersive experience you get while flying this drone is simply breathtaking. But you need to remember that the DJI FPV is not a toy. 

In fact, it’s a dangerous drone if not flown well in manual mode. It’s the fastest DJI drone ever released and will require a lot of practice behind FPV simulators to be able to fly as it’s intended.

Let’s see what perks the DJI FPV has:

  • It’s the first FPV drone released by DJI and one of two that is capable of flying in manual (acro) mode and in normal and sport modes, offering a diversified way of flying.
  • This drone offers you one of the easiest ways to get into flying FPV drones without complicating yourself with building or picking custom quads, transmission protocols, setting up complex configurations, and dangerous Lipo charging.
  • The experience and adrenaline you get when flying an FPV drone, hence DJI FPV, in this case, is simply unmatchable with flying standard GPS drones.
  • The DJI FPV also has a few perks that set this drone apart from other custom FPV quads (except for normal/sport modes), such as accurate return-to-home, emergency brake, in-flight adjustable camera angle, auto landing, and longer battery life.

» MORE: DJI FPV – How to Take Off and Land (Step-by-Step Guide)

DJI Mavic 3 Pro

Here we have it. The DJI Mavic 3 Pro is indeed one of the most advanced consumer drones ever created.

It’s a drone that has everything you ever need at the highest technological level, without the need to go for the film production type of drones or cinelifters.

Released in May 2023, it’s the latest drone from the Mavic series and one to break the record in what it can offer, from camera sensors and night filming to zoom capabilities, intelligent flight modes, and superb flight time.

But let’s see for now what are the core perks behind the DJI Mavic 3 Pro:

  • This drone has three cameras on its 3-axis gimbal. One of the cameras is a Hasselblad with 4/3inch CMOS, the largest sensor found in a consumer drone, to the point where you can zoom up to 28x with the tele camera.
  • Moreover, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro has omnidirectional obstacle avoidance sensors based on binocular vision that can detect obstacles from afar from any direction and avoid them with ease.
  • The DJI Mavic 3 Pro also has Active Track 5.0 with APAS 5.0, one of the most advanced tracking systems found in a consumer drone with the ability to return to home intelligently and follow a moving person or object with high precision and waypoints. Oh, we absolutely love that!
  • It can fly for up to 42 minutes, can easily fly long-range with the OcuSync 3.0+ transmission system, and is compatible with the most advanced consumer remote controller ever created: The DJI RC Pro.

Those are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the DJI Mavic 3 Pro can offer. No wonder it’s the best consumer drone you can ever find for many attributed flight features.

» MORE: DJI Mavic 3 Pro Review (I have NEVER flown a drone that I enjoyed so much)

Quick Verdict

Here at Droneblog, we are all drone pilots, whether hobbyists or commercial pilots, and we have an entire fleet of drones we often test, fly, review, and share unique and first-hand information with you.

So, even if I’m an FPV drone pilot at heart, I will try my best to stay neutral and share my (and our) conclusion based on experience, facts, and other aspects.

Therefore, if you’re in a rush, here is what we recommend:

  • If you can afford it, pick the DJI Mavic 3 Pro. It’s a drone you can never fail with if you’re looking for one of the best commercial drones, whether you’re a hobbyist who wants only the best of the best, a professional and even an award-winning photographer, or a beginner, and so on.
  • If you are looking for more adventure and want some challenges or simply cannot afford the Mavic 3 Pro, then the DJI FPV is surely a decent choice, despite getting close to its 3rd birthday.

» MORE: DJI Mavic 3 Pro – Where is the Serial Number? (Answered)

What are the main differences?

The idea behind this topic is to compare these drones. And how better to do it than checking out their differences?

Here’s how we can distinguish these drones:

  • The DJI FPV is an FPV drone that can fly in manual or acro mode and also can fly like a standard drone but within limits. The DJI Mavic 3 Pro is a standard drone flying as any other one, but it also has the ability to fly in “FPV Mode” and supports FPV goggles for a great flying experience.
  • The Mavic 3 Pro has one of the best cameras on the market. In fact, it has three, but I want to focus on the Hasselblad 4/3 inch CMOS, which is indeed the largest drone sensor from any consumer drone. This gives you the best image quality, the most professional photographs and videos, the highest dynamic range, and the ability to post-process to another level.
  • If we’re looking into safety features, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro, along with Mini 4 Pro and Air 3, are the safest drones to fly with omnidirectional anti-collision sensors, advanced follow-me mode, and so much more. The DJI FPV is, in fact, the riskiest drone to fly.
  • To fly the DJI FPV drone in manual mode, you’ll be required to undertake at least several hours of training, if not more, in an FPV simulator. This is not a drone for beginners and first-time pilots. In contrast, despite the high price, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro can be used by a beginner in this hobby.

But what we mention here are not the only differences between the DJI FPV and Mavic 3 Pro, just the main ones to cover. 

Further in the article, we will look at everything we need to know about these drones and where each feature stacks up against the other.

As for now, let me share some individual thoughts about these drones.

» MORE: DJI Avata vs. DJI FPV (Here’s My Choice)

DJI FPV

When I first purchased my DJI FPV drone when I lived in the UK, I never knew this drone was gonna change my life. And I’m for real now.

Back then, I didn’t know what to expect. I have been a drone pilot for several years already, but ever since the DJI FPV, my interest in FPV drones has soared. Not soared, literally skyrocketed.

So, I started to invest in FPV quads and get some deep knowledge about FPV. Still, the DJI FPV drone remains one of my favorites and, right at this time, it’s sitting on my desk. It’s simply there waiting for me.

» MORE: How to Connect DJI FPV to Phone (Step-by-Step Guide)

Whenever I can and the time and weather allow me, I take it outside and fly it as I live close to the mountains right now. It’s a simply fabulous drone and was the one to get me into FPV, as it can be for you.

But choosing this drone as a first-time drone pilot is a no-no, in my opinion. Flying without experience and basic FPV training is simply too dangerous, as the drone is as fast as a rocket.

Did we mention that DJI FPV is the fastest DJI drone ever made?

DJI FPV Combo
$999.00

Enjoy crystal-clear real-time and HD Low-Latency Transmission video, even at distances of up to 6.2 miles.

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03/07/2024 09:22 am GMT

DJI Mavic 3 Pro

Not a long time ago, I also got my hands on a DJI Mavic 3 Pro. The feel of flying such a drone somehow renews the love for flying standard drones as well. 

I’m in love with FPV drones. I also love standard drones. I wanna get into flying fixed wings. I think I have a problem…

That’s my current statement.

If the budget would allow me, I would experiment with all. No joke here!

But the DJI Mavic 3 Pro was not an experiment but a true experience in flying and testing out one of the best consumer drones ever. I feel proud here.

Wait. Where am I going with this?

Suppose you have the budget or would have to invest in the Mavic 3 Pro, whether you’re a professional drone pilot, photographer, commercial pilot, or simply a beginner. In that case, this drone cannot be matched when it comes to the current drone technologies.

» MORE: DJI Mavic 3 Pro vs. Air 3 (Here’s My Choice)

Simply looking at how much the DJI Mavic 3 Pro can zoom or the professional-level images captured with the Hasselblad 4/3 inch, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro is a real winner.

Maybe a cinelifter with a professional-level filmmaking camera can overtake its filming capabilities. But that’s not something we would have to worry about for now. 

Our Pick
DJI Mavic 3 Pro (Fly More Combo)
$2,999.00

Flagship Triple-Camera Drone with 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, 15km Video Transmission, three Batteries, Charging Hub, and more.

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03/07/2024 03:12 am GMT

Head-to-Head Comparison

Camera

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Pro

There’s no doubt here. As much as we could try to improve the filming capabilities of the DJI FPV drone by attaching action cameras to it (yes, it does support the payload), no one can match the DJI Mavic 3 Pro main camera.

And did we mention that this drone has three cameras?

Let’s get a bit into the technical specifications, shall we?

» MORE: Camera Technology in Drones (Explained)

DJI FPV Camera

The camera behind DJI FPV is mounted on a single-axis gimbal that benefits from Rocksteady electronic stabilization for smooth footage.

It has a 1/2.3 inch CMOS, which is quite small compared to today’s filming and photography standards.

But as for photography, the DJI FPV can photograph only in a basic mode as it’s not meant for any kind of photography.

For filming, the DJI FPV can film in 4k at 60 frames per second, and if you need more FPS, you’ll have to drop down the resolution to 1080p for 120fps. 

One advantage the DJI FPV camera has is that you can film in flat mode with D-Cinelike, which will allow you to further post-process your videos.

But even there, it falls behind many camera drones. 

As we briefly mentioned, the DJI FPV does support a payload, so you can attach a GoPro or similar action camera (as most FPV pilots do) to capture some breathtaking FPV footage.

This will elevate the DJI FPV from mediocre camera capability to the fantastic level at a semi-professional level. 

Still, even with the newest GoPro attached, the DJI FPV cannot film as well as the DJI Mavic 3 Pro’s 4/3-inch Hasselblad sensor.

So, now, what about the Mavic 3 Pro camera?

» MORE: How to Connect Your DJI FPV Controller to Your Computer

DJI Mavic 3 Pro Camera

Well, this is the reason the Mavic 3 Pro is at the top list of drones for many applications. The camera. Or cameras.

So, what do we have here?

Hasselblad

The Hasselblad camera, as we mentioned above, is the most advanced consumer camera found in any consumer drone. 

It has a 4/3 inch CMOS, which is about 1.33(3) inches in size. Other drones have no sensors above 1 inch, except for the entire Mavic 3 line.

The advantage of such a large sensor is that the images taken have a great dynamic range and allow post-processing to yet another level, can gather more light in low-light or night conditions, and can capture details other drones can’t.

As for filming, the main Mavic 3 Pro camera can film in 5.1k at 50 frames per second, which is a lot more than filming in 4K, great for professional production, and in 10-bit D-Log for extraordinary post-processing capabilities.

But if you want more, you can always look towards the “Cine” version of the DJI Mavic 3 Pro.

Now, if you’re looking for some slow-motion footage, you can drop the resolution to 4K and take advantage of the 120 frames per second.

This camera’s pixel density is 20 million and, in short, it can photograph at 20 Megapixels.

By today’s standards, this may seem little as your mobile phone can take higher resolution photos. But resolution is not everything. In fact, in practical applications, 20 Megapixels is more than enough unless you’re aiming for huge prints.

The Hasselblad can zoom at 1-3x.

Medium Tele

The medium tele is the DJI Mavic 3 Pro’s secondary camera. This has a 1/1.3 inch CMOS, similar to the ones found in DJI Mini 3, Mini 3 Pro, and Mini 4 Pro.

Even though it is not a large sensor like the Hasselblad, the medium tele has its own uses as you can zoom between 3 and 7 times with it.

You will be surprised to hear that this camera can photograph at a resolution of 48 Megapixels, and it also can film in 4k at 60 frames per second, which for most applications, should be more than enough.

Tele Camera

As this is the latest and most efficient camera to zoom, the tele camera comes only with a 1/2 inch CMOS, which is relatively low by today’s standards.

But it won’t matter much because this camera’s real application is more specialized.

Expect the tele camera to zoom between 7 and 28 times.

Yes, that’s a lot, and that’s more than excellent if we’re looking into Wildlife photography or to inspect buildings from afar, maybe to capture that beautiful tower downtown where you can’t fly the drone, and even for search and rescue.

As for photography, this sensor is limited in producing only 12 Megapixels, which is a bit low (altogether with the small CMOS) to be used professionally. Still, no other drone can zoom as this one and capture such photographs and videos.

As for videos, you can record at the same 4k resolution at 60 frames per second.

In a nutshell, if we have to compare the tele camera sensor and image quality with the DJI FPV main and only camera, the tele camera still wins, even without the zoom.

» MORE: DJI Mavic 3 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro (Here’s My Choice)

Portability

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Pro

In this section, we would be close to a tie because the DJI Mavic 3 Pro and DJI FPV have similar weights.

In fact, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro weighs around 950 grams, and the DJI FPV is around 800 grams, which is a bit lower.

But here’s the catch.

In order to fly the DJI FPV, you will also need the goggles. The original goggles, DJI FPV Goggles V2, weigh around 420 grams, a weight we have to add with DJI FPV but not with the Mavic 3 Pro.

Also, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro folds, and it is easier to carry around, while the DJI FPV does not fold and needs to remove the propellers, the antennas from the goggles, and the sticks from the controller. 

So you may need a specific backpack only for your DJI FPV drone with little room for other stuff. I always struggle with transporting my DJI FPV drone when I’m looking to fly it, as it’s quite heavy and takes up a lot of space.

» MORE: Best Drone Backpacks (And Tips for Traveling with Your Drone)

Safety Features & Intelligent Modes

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Pro

Now, this is yet another section we can get in-depth. The DJI Mavic 3 Pro has so much to offer in terms of safety features and intelligent modes. DJI FPV is very limited in this case.

So, what does DJI FPV have to show?

  • The emergency brake: It’s a function where, with a press of a button on your controller, the DJI FPV drone will come to an instant stop no matter the speed and hovers while switching to normal mode. This could be a drone-saving feature if you feel you lost control or you’re about to crash.
  • Return-to-home: Every DJI drone has a return-to-home feature, but generally, to have such a module in an FPV drone is rare, and to work as well as DJI ones – you can’t find elsewhere other than DJI FPV and Avata. 
  • Switching from Normal to Sport and Manual Modes: And vice-versa. This opens the door to enjoying flying the drone even as a beginner and not only in manual mode if you don’t have the experience to do so. This is a smart feature mainly found in DJI FPV and Avata.
  • Obstacle avoidance sensors: The DJI FPV has frontal anti-collision sensors and is the first and only FPV drone in the world with this feature. Of course, the sensors won’t work if you fly in sport or manual mode, only in normal mode.

Now, what about the DJI Mavic 3 Pro?

  • This drone has omnidirectional anti-collision sensors which is the ultimate safety feature to find in a drone to avoid colliding with an object from any angle.
  • Active Track and APAS 5.0: The Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) is next-generation, which will help with obstacle detection and avoidance to a superior level. The Active Track 5th version offers the ultimate type of follow-me mode and an advanced return-to-home feature (so basically, the drone will carve a path back to you, even with obstacles on the way)
  • QuickShots Modes: It’s no secret that the DJI Mavic 3 Pro, like most DJI drones, has QuickShots, which are some automated modes where the drone can form circles around you to film or go like a boomerang or a rocket. DJI FPV lacks these modes.
  • Waypoints and more: The DJI Mavic 3 Pro has many more intelligent functions, including Waypoints, which is the next-generation method of planning and shooting a video in an area or timelapse in the most automated manner possible.

» MORE: Drone Safety Features (All You Need to Know)

Flight Experience

Winner: Tie

Here, we have a tie between the flight experience of both drones.

While the DJI Mavic 3 Pro flies like a standard drone, flying FPV drones is another story with another experience.

With the DJI FPV, you can dive down the side of mountains and waterfalls, fly at high speed close to the ground, and have an immersive experience with an adrenaline boost that simply can’t be compared with any standard drone.

That’s, of course, with the FPV goggles on your head.

However, here we have the DJI Mavic 3 Pro, which is different from so many other drones. It has a mode called “FPV Mode”; basically, it mimes the ability to fly like an FPV drone but within limits.

You cannot flip or do any freestyle tricks like with DJI FPV (you wouldn’t want to with such an expensive drone anyway), but you can capture some type of FPV videos.

And guess what? Surprise, surprise! DJI Mavic 3 Pro is also compatible with FPV Goggles and Motion Controllers to get the best experience you can get with an FPV drone (watching in VR mode) but in a safer way.

» MORE: FPV Drones vs. Regular Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Commercial Applications

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Pro

The only commercial application I can think of for a DJI FPV drone is to film in FPV mode an event (car racing or drifting, skiing or snowboarding, and several extreme sports) where the DJI Mavic 3 Pro falls behind in the type of FPV videos it can offer.

But of course the camera behind DJI FPV is too low-quality to create such professional videos, so you do need to attach a high-quality action camera to it (within its payload limit).

Now, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro is currently the main drone used in many commercial applications.

Here at Droneblog, many of us are commercial drone pilots, so the DJI Mavic 3 Pro is our main drone to use as such.

From real estate photographs to inspections, construction, and even professional filmmaking, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro is indeed the drone to go with.

Nothing else beats it in terms of commercial work. At least not regular consumer drones.

» MORE: Commercial Drone Pilots in USA (Ultimate Guide)

Flight Time & Range

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Pro

The DJI FPV drone can fly up to a maximum of 20 minutes. I was never able to pull more than 12-13 minutes when flying in manual mode, and that with a low percent battery left (dangerously low).

If you want to land with at least 20-25% battery, expect a maximum flight time of 10 minutes.

It all depends on how fast you fly the drone.

Now, the DJI FPV has a good battery life compared to custom FPV drones that usually can fly between 3 and 7 minutes.

But it falls behind if we compare it with any modern standard drones.

As for range, the DJI FPV was built for long-range flights. But it pales in comparison with the DJI Mavic 3 Pro.

So, expect to fly no more than 6.2 miles in the USA (FCC) and 3.7 miles in Europe, China, and Japan (CE, SRRC and MIC). These are actual restrictions for this drone.

In comparison, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro with the OcuSync 3.0+ can fly for up to 9.3 miles in the USA and 5 miles in Europe, China, and Japan. That’s a lot more.

When I flew my DJI FPV long-range last time in a European country, I was able to go only for 2 miles and a bit before the video was breaking up in an area with low to no interference.

Now, I didn’t fly the Mavic 3 Pro long-range, but I know I’ll do a lot better. And that’s a fact, especially with its 42-minute battery life. But in reality, expect to fly around 35 minutes in order to land the drone safely.

» MORE: Flight Time of All DJI Drones (Explained)

Compatibility

Winner: Tie

Let’s have a quick look over these drone compatibilities, shall we? 

Both of them are widely compatible with a variety of goggles and controllers. And that’s no surprise.

CompatibilityDJI FPVMavic 3 Pro
Goggles– DJI FPV Goggles V2
– DJI Goggles 2
– DJI Integra
– DJI Goggles 2
– DJI Integra
Controller– DJI FPV Remote Controller 2– DJI RC Pro
DJI RC
DJI RC-N1
Motion Controller– DJI Motion Controller
– DJI RC Motion 2
– DJI RC Motion 2

That’s a lot more than almost any DJI drone or any drone in general, and because both these drones are top-notch for their uses, we should expect broader compatibility in the future.

» MORE: DJI Goggles 2 vs DJI FPV Goggles V2 (Explained)

Beginner’s Choice

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Pro

If you are a beginner who wants to get into flying drones, superb choice! Welcome to this hobby. This section is entirely for you.

Which of these drones do I recommend to get started with?

For sure, my advice would be to go with the DJI Mavic 3 Pro. But be aware that this drone is quite expensive to get started with and can be intimidating to fly as a beginner.

The DJI FPV surely would NOT be my recommendation, as this drone is too fast for any beginner to handle, especially if flying in manual mode. 

And to fly in manual mode, you need a lot of training behind FPV simulators. 

For a person who just got into the drone hobby, getting into FPV is like having a Ferrari as your first car, maybe even when getting your driver’s license.

» MORE: How to Fly a Drone: Ultimate Beginner Guide (with Drawings)

Conclusion

So here we have them. Two well-known and fantastic drones, even if one is FPV and the other is not.

Some pilots may have different opinions, but what I wrote in this article is based on the actual experience of flying both drones, my knowledge and understanding of these drones, their capabilities, and a lot of research to ensure accuracy.

So, to wrap this up.

For any kind of work, from hobbyists flying to commercial works, professional photography, and even as a beginner, go with DJI Mavic 3 Pro if you can afford it.

On the other side, the DJI FPV would be a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a challenge flying drones, need to get into the FPV hobby, and you’re looking for simplicity. But I would never recommend the DJI FPV as a first drone for a beginner.

» MORE: Do You Need a License to Fly a Drone (For Beginners)